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NatureServe Announces Environmental Conservation Leaders In-Training
New Leader to Leader Program Initiated with Support from American Express
Arlington, Virginia (April 13, 2010) — NatureServe today announced its inaugural class for Leader to Leader, a new program that, with support from American Express, will cultivate the skills of emerging leaders in the field of environmental conservation. Selected through a competitive application process, the 20 participants reflect the diversity of geography, skills, and expertise of the NatureServe network, a group of 82 independent conservation-science institutions in the United States, Canada, and Latin America. This intensive year-long training program will instruct them in methods and practices that can increase their current sphere of influence while building a foundation for future leadership roles.
The participants (listed below) are each highly trained in their disciplines, but Leader to Leader will give them the opportunity to gain leadership experience and confidence as well. The program will also create an important peer group of emerging leaders that will increase the effectiveness of both the NatureServe network and the individual nonprofit organizations and public institutions for whom the participants work. These state, provincial, and national programs help conserve plants, animals, and natural habitats throughout the Western Hemisphere and employ more than 800 people, including field biologists, conservation planners, ecologists, natural areas managers, information technology specialists, and conservation program leaders.
The goals of Leader to Leader are threefold:
- To create a self-renewing pool of next-generation leaders in environmental conservation
- To strengthen the connectivity and effectiveness of the NatureServe network
- To form a community of practice among the trainees, who will return to their home institutions to share the program’s lessons and mentor their colleagues
The program has received support through a one-year grant from American Express, which has a long-standing commitment to providing nonprofit leaders with practical opportunities to learn and build leadership skills. Their support of the NatureServe network and its goal to connect science with biodiversity conservation also demonstrates American Express’ commitment to environmental responsibility worldwide.
“There is nothing more powerful than peer-to-peer learning among talented individuals,” said Mary Klein, president and CEO of NatureServe. “The Leader to Leader class of 2010 represents some of our best rising stars, and we’re grateful for American Express’ support in cultivating NatureServe’s 21st-century leadership.”
The first training session will take place in conjunction with the NatureServe Conservation Conference, an international forum hosted in Austin, Texas, on April 26–30, 2010. Participants in the inaugural class are:
- David Anderson, Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Fort Collins, Colo.
- Jason Bulluck, Virginia Natural Heritage Program, Richmond, Va.
- Shelley Cooke, New York Natural Heritage Program, Albany, N.Y.
- Daniel Davila-Casanova, Programa de Patrimonio Natural, San Juan, Puerto Rico
- Nicole Firlotte, Manitoba Conservation Data Centre, Winnipeg, Man.
- Ross Geredien, Maryland Natural Heritage Program, Annapolis, Md.
- Robert Gottfried, Texas Wildlife Diversity Program, Austin, Tex.
- Martina Hines, Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission, Frankfort, Ky.
- Yu Man Lee, Michigan Natural Features Inventory, Lansing, Mich.
- Maria Patrocinio Alba López, Pronatura Chiapas, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico
- Jennifer Newmark, Nevada Natural Heritage Program, Carson City, Nev.
- Carl Nordman, NatureServe, Durham, N.C.
- Ryan O'Connor, Wisconsin Natural Heritage Inventory, Madison, Wisc.
- Jon Oetting, Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee, Fla.
- Greg Podniesinski, Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program, Harrisburg, Pa.
- Maria Isabel Salazar Ramirez, Corporación Autónoma Regional del Valle del Cauca, Cali, Colombia
- Joe Rocchio, Washington Natural Heritage Program, Olympia, Wash.
- Rick Schneider, Nebraska Natural Heritage Program, Lincoln, Neb.
- Carolina Elizabeth Pedrozo Silva, Centro de Datos para la Conservación, Asunción, Paraguay
- Ian Varley , NatureServe, Boulder, Colo.